SETTING UP NULL MODEM FOR MULTIPLAYER GAME
a.k.a direct cable connection

Hi everyone.

I have decided to put up this page for those of you who cant get your null modem to connect. I hope the steps that i have laid out below will help solve your problem. I cant guarantee that this works for everyone as you may have different hardware settings than mine.

This information is only relevant for win95/98 users.

This page does not contain information for LAN, internet, or modem setup. Just the serial NULL MODEM setup procedure.

Additional notes: As you may or may not know, the null modem connection is one of the ways to connect computers for multiplaying. However, this option is not as popular as Local Area Network (LAN) as it limits the multiplayer to only 2 people. If you need more information on setting up LAN, i recommend these sites.


(A)The cable:

1. Make sure you have a NULL MODEM cable, not a normal serial cable. Go to the computer/electrical shop and ask for a null modem. Note: i use a 25-pin null modem cable.

2. If your port is different than the cable ends (female/male type) then get a gender-changer adapter.

3. Connect your null modem cable to an unused port : make sure it's not your printer port.


(B)Your computer:

4. Get to know your computer.

4.1 Check the com ports that your hardware is using. Make sure you have a free port. You can find out via control panel > modems > diagnostics. Usually:
COM1 = mouse
COM2 = modem
COM3 = ?
COM4 = ?
(where i'm assuming '?' to be empty). So it seems that you may use com3 or com4 for the null modem cable.... stop! Check out further.

4.2 You dont have to do anything here. Just read on....
You should also know that COM1 uses the same IRQ as COM3 and COM2 uses the same IRQ as COM4. And the default memory (base) resources are as below:
COM1 = 03F8 , IRQ = 4
COM2 = 02F8 , IRQ = 3
COM3 = 03E8 , IRQ = 4
COM4 = 02E8 , IRQ = 3

4.3 Thus there will be an IRQ conflict with the mouse if you try to use COM3 for your null modem (i'm assuming you need both mouse and null modem for your game. Eg Diablo, c&c as opposed to Last Bronx) Hm... so we are actually only left with COM4 for our null modem port; as COM1 and COM2 are already in use and COM3 will cause conflict with the mouse... so, let's work on COM4 and get started!


(C)Start to set up the NULL modem connection

5. Check that COM4 is installed. Right-click on my computer > properties > device manager > ports. If only COM1 and COM2 exist, do the following (step 6) twice. If COM3 already exist, do step 6 once.

6. Adding ports. Go to control panel > add new hardware > dont detect hardware > select from list > port. Click OK and windows will install it for you. To be sure, just do step 5 again and see if you have the required ports installed.
Note: you may be asked to restart you computer after installing the ports.

7. When COM4 is available, restart your computer. Hit 'DELETE' to get into the computer setup... (you know, with the bios setting and crap).

8. In the setup screen, you will have several options, such as bios, chipset, pheripheral settings, etc. Look for an option [possibly the phripheral settings] which contain "on-board serial port 1" and "on-board serial port 2" (or something like that) Eg.
on-board serial port 1 : Auto <--maybe set to something else
on-board serial port 2 : Disabled <-- maybe set to something else

9. Now, change as the following:
on-board serial port 1 : 03F8/IRQ4 (or just 03F8)
on-board serial port 2 : 02E8/IRQ3 (or just 02E8)

10. Restart your computer again. You should be all set for multiplaying!


(D) Testing your connection

11. This step is unnecessary. But if you are still having problem, use this so you dont have to keep starting the game to test the connection.
start > programs > accessories > connection > hyper terminal

11.1 If you dont have hyper terminal, you can ask windows to install it for you. control panel > add/remove programs > windows setup tab > double click communications > check hyper terminal box.

12. Enter the session name, and select connect using COM4. if you are connected, meaning all is well! if it says "unable to connect to COM4" , it's a bit of a bugger coz i dont know what else to do... FYI, i'm not a real expert, i'm just suggesting the settings that worked for me. Maybe you can look up some other null modem sites to get help. Sorry that i'm unable to help you!



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Hope this page has been able to help you with your null modem connection. It took me about 5 hrs working at the computer to get my connection up and running. So as you can guess, setting the multiplayer serial connection can be frustrating. My advice, be patient and work slowly on it. You'll feel good once it's working. Have fun multiplaying...

On second thoughts, it is heaps better to play multiplayer games on LAN, where you can have more players connected rather than 2-player only as with null modem. It's sounds pretty easy to set up LAN (doh, dont count on it-- i thought it was easy enough to set up null modem connection!)... Well, i can't help you trouble-shoot anything regarding LAN setup as i havent personally done so. I certainly will when i decide to play multiplayer on LAN.

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WARNING: I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF ANY OF MY SUGGESTED SETTINGS CAUSES YOUR COMPUTER TO MALFUNCTION.

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HELPFUL LINKS

links to other null modem related sites (which has helped me set my connection):
http://www.reocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/5704/dcc1.html
http://www.rebelhq.com/rebelhq-stepbystep-lan.htm

If you are thinking of setting up LAN , these sites may help:
http://pcmech.pair.com/networking6.htm
http://www.evansville.net/~rtrevino/lan.htm
http://gameslounge.com/multiplay.htm
http://home3.inet.tele.dk/aolesen/buildnet.htm
http://www.computerbits.com/archive/19981200/home_lan.htm

any comments, pls email to: cmdr-nik@reocities.com

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